The town of Sandanski is located at the foot of the Pirin Mountain at 224 meters above sea level. It is near the mouth of Sandanska Bistritsa.
Sandanski is 23 km north-east of Petrich, and only 22 km north of the checkpoint with Greec Kulata. It is also 65 km south of the district center Blagoevgrad and 166 km south of Sofia.
The population of Sandanski comes to 26 695 and is constantly rising. It is known as the town with the best climate and most sunshine in Bulgaria. The average temperature during the year is 14.7C with temperatures during the summer above 30 C.
The terrain of the municipality is quite versatile - flat in the valleys of River Struma and highly mountainous in the Pirin Mountain. This diversity defines the big differences of the height above sea level among regions - starting from 2822 meters for the highest mount Kamenitsa and going down to less than 100 meters in the valley of Struma.
The town is famous with its unique mineral springs. There are more than 80 springs with temperatures from 33C to 83C. Some of the most famous are - the Turkish bath, the Fountain of the Unction and Pariloto. The town of Sandanski is famous as the best natural health destination for curing bronchial asthma in Europe. The resort is recommended for healing different lung diseases, sinusitis, neurological illnesses, skin diseases, some kidney and urological diseases.
Sandanski is one of the oldest settlements on the Balkan Peninsula dating back from the times of the Trojan War.
The settlement is known to be established during the II century B.C and was rising around the mineral springs. The first inhabitants were from the Thracian tribe - medi.
With the arrival of the Romans the small settlement was developed and fortified. The curative springs were impounded and a big public bath was built (asklepion). Most probably the settlement grew into a town during the reign of Emperor Pius (138-161) and was surrounded by fortification walls made of pebble stones from the local river.
The town flourished in the period from IV to VI century. A lot of public buildings and early Christian basilicas, including early Christian bishops' complex were found from that period. Of big interest are the mosaic decorative carpets, parts of which are exposed in the Archeological Museum.
Until VI century the town was the one of the first Christian bishop centers. At the end of VI century the town was demolished by barbarian tribes. From these times the settlement carries the name Sveti Vratch in the memory of the brothers- healers Kozma and Damian (vratch means healer). The town is known with this name till 1947 when it was renamed to Sandanski. The ancient town lays exactly bellow the modern town of Sandanski and is not unusual to find some ancient artifacts while walking in the Park or digging for a construction work..
The new name Sandanski is in honor of the Bulgarian revolutionary and voivode Yane Sandanski - figure of the Internal Macedonian-Odrin revolutionary organization in Serskia revolutionary district.
Contemporary Sandanski is known as one of the top Spa destinations. It is also a center for fabric and clothes production. Quite a lot international companies outsource their sewing factories here near Sandanski.
Sandanski is proud with its unique town park - "Sveti Vrach". More than 200 Mediterranean plant species grow up on a territory of 344 000 sq. m. Some of them are natural landmark aging more than 550 years old. The park provides excellent opportunities for recreation.
The town of Melnik is situated 24 km south-east from the town of Sandanski. This is one of the museum-towns in Bulgaria with authentic Revival style houses and cobble streets. The main square will fascinate you with the great number of traditional restaurants and with strong red Melnishko wine.
Only 6 km farther from Melnik, you will find the Rozhen monastery. This is the biggest monastery in the Pirin Mountains. It is one of the few medieval Bulgarian monasteries well preserved until today.
The municipality also hosts a number of nature reserves - the National park Pirin, the unique Sand Pyramids, the reserve Ali Botush, the Popina Laka reserve and the waterfall of the river Sandanska Bistritsa.
Rupite is a small mountainous reserve on the bank of the Struma River. It is best known as the place where the Bulgarian prophet Baba Vanga lived. The area is in fact the crater of a volcano. The reserve is shaped by the volcanic hill Kozhuh, the thermal springs and Pchelina Hill. At the beginning of the 90s the prophet Baba Vanga built a small monastery. It still attracts a number of believers and people searching for cure.